December 29, 2021 by Andrea Rajic
Every successful manager knows how to delegate tasks and acknowledges the power of a good team. When people feel valued, they are more productive and deliver better results.
However, team members also expect adequate working conditions. It's challenging to handle so many things, but not impossible, mainly if you invest in an integrated workplace management system, known as IWMS.
An Integrated Workplace Management System, or IWMS, is software used by real estate services firms, corporate occupiers, facilities services providers, managing agents, and landlords.
It contains various apps designed to help corporate real estate management and facilities management professionals optimize the use of resources and space to ensure efficiency and manage costs, providing high-quality management information.
Initially built as a support for facilities and real estate professionals, IWMS is becoming more employee-centric, allowing managers to analyze space utility data and, to some extent, manage cost savings and expenses.
Members from different departments can also be in charge of particular administrative tasks, like dedicating a desk to new hires and even taking part in future space planning.
The term "integrated workplace management system" first appeared in 2004. Former Gartner analyst Michael Bell coined it.
In an article published in 2015, Bell wrote: "In November of 2004, I published the first Gartner Magic Quadrant on what I defined at the time as Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS). Initially, I received "push back" from the corporate real estate community on the acronym. Many felt that the absence of "real estate" in the acronym diluted the prestige of their position and function. Software vendors were particularly annoyed with the acronym, but several began to use it in their subsequent marketing. Within a year, the acronym became widely adopted."
IWMS gathers different tools under one hat. So, if you want to improve your company's look, consider adding this 'fashion accessory' to enhance the following.
Considering that an employee's performance, most times, depends on the worksite, having an app that can help you optimize the use of facility space is a true lifesaver.
Aside from helping you manage physical spaces within a building, this tool also allows users to book and schedule rooms, preventing overlaps and improving workflow.
If you want to attract and keep the most talented individuals under your roof, you must guarantee physical and physiological safety for each member of your team. Remember, no paycheck can compensate for the sense of physical insecurity.
Employees need to know the space they spend a considerable number of hours in is adequately maintained to feel safe and comfortable. Luckily, with IWMS, you can have all information like inventory, warranties, maintenance requests, vendors, and associated costs in one place. Prevention is vital, so use IWMS solutions to analyze preventive maintenance and avoid unpleasant (and more expensive) scenarios.
In addition, a self-service portal allows occupants to file maintenance requests, and the app will list them by priority, so you'll not have to worry about whether you have overlooked something.
Thanks to this app, managing renovations, and new building projects have become much more accessible. The great thing about this tool is the mix of functionalities it offers, including financial accounting, bidding, planning, and document management.
Real estate lifecycle management helps users paint a picture of managed properties, making the communication between current and potential future tenants, as well as outside contractors, straightforward.
It comprises different facility-related data, including occupancy, lease terms, square footage, and costs. An IMWS can also assist in the lease and tax management, and accounting, especially in situations such as an acquisition.
Sustainability has become a burning topic in today's business world—companies promoting responsible business implement different sustainable practices to contribute to a healthy environment.
Resources management allows companies to measure, analyze and, if possible, reduce resource consumption, including energy and water, and track expenses. Many companies also use it to measure the emission of greenhouse gases.
You can integrate it with, for instance, a building automation system and control different systems within a facility, including lighting, air conditioning, and ventilation.
Using IWMS features, managers can set goals and, using collected data, determine whether those goals have been met and what else they can do to improve selected sustainable practices.
Integrated workplace management systems can benefit companies of all shapes and sizes; it depends on their needs. Still, some businesses can't imagine operating without such a solution.
Undoubtedly, IWMS is an ideal solution for companies with multiple properties because it helps them stay organized. Thanks to this solution, real estate managers can access their real estate portfolio, manage costs, and make more informed decisions.
Institutions like energy companies, healthcare, and financial organizations that must comply with particular reporting requirements can benefit significantly from using IMWS. Let's take FASB lease accounting standards as an example.
Companies that need to comply with it must provide a report comprising lease details of each asset they own. The same goes for specific private companies, including logistics companies and airlines. That is just one of the reasons why companies with numerous assets should consider using an integrated workplace system to manage them.
Small-business owners will agree that it is equally challenging to manage a couple of employees as it is a hundred. Still, having complex HR software may not be necessary when you have a handful of people working for you, although it is advisable to have some.
However, most founders aim to grow their business, and at some point, they will need more space and a tool to manage all of that. In addition, it is not uncommon for companies to first grow their workforce and then expand their office space.
If that happens, employees must adapt and turn to options such as hot-desking and even 'fight' for the meeting room. However, these alternatives are not necessarily harmful; many companies advocate for new working trends, such as coworking.
But, if you want your employees to have dedicated desks and use your equipment, make sure everything is under control. If you wonder how to achieve it - implement an integrated workplace system.
Need more compelling reasons to use an IWMS? Here's what we consider the main upsides of using this system.
To put it simply - it saves money and time. How many times have you heard this sentence? Probably too many. However, when we talk about an integrated workplace management system, we can't overlook these two components.
So, yes, it may sound like a cliche, but IWMS is here to save you these two most valuable and irreversible resources.
High-quality IWMS has a scheduling option, allowing your employees to reserve meeting rooms and avoid overlapping.
As its name suggests, IWMS is an integrated system, so you have many tools under one platform, and you don't have to spend additional money on upgrading outdated systems.
An IWMS allows you to manage your space according to the number of employees, so you can always manage it properly and adjust it to your business needs, wasting no additional money on maintaining an unused space.
When you have an ally such as an IWMS, you can save considerable time entering lease information and obtaining associated databases.
Thanks to IWMS, facilities managers no longer have to waste their time managing assets manually. Now, it can all be automated.
When you opt for a solution, like IWMS, that can help you measure and analyze energy consumption, you can quickly determine how to reduce it and save money.
A high-quality IWMS reduces the time you usually spend conducting surveys and creating reports on space utilization.
Finally, an IWMS helps you work smarter, not harder, and that's the mantra of all successful leaders today.
The prerequisite for staying competitive in any industry is being authentic. Even if someone tells you that reinventing the wheel is impossible (and they are correct), that doesn't mean you can't offer something different to your existing and potential employees.
Taking care of your business doesn't only mean putting customers first; many leaders could confirm that growth starts when you place your employees first.